Where to go for a seamless New Year’s Eve in Sydney
Events you can still get tickets for and the best free vantage points.
More than a million people are expected to flock to the Sydney Harbour foreshore to ring in the new year, and competition for the perfect spot is tight - even with dozens of free vantage points.
This year Sydneysiders and visitors are restricted from camping out in advance for prime New Year’s Eve fireworks viewing spots, and have already been asked to leave by police at McMahons Point.
Best bets for free vantage points
With strict BYO bans and bag checks upon arrival at free points, revellers are limited to just one free viewing areas that sells alcohol. Mrs Macquaries Chair, which has a capacity of 16,000, filled up in the early afternoon in 2015. This year, the space opens to the public at 10am.
Other large viewing areas which offer some of the best views include Dawes Point (Ta-Ra) Park just under the Harbour Bridge, which opens at 12:30pm and can hold 40,000, and Blues Point Reserve across from the CBD, which opens at 8am and can hold 15,000. Both areas sell food and non-alcoholic drinks.
It is advised to get to the free viewing areas as early as possible to ensure entry. Forecasting a high of 28 degrees and low of 24 degrees, with a chance of showers in the morning, New Year’s Eve is set to be a comfortable one in Sydney should you arrive in the afternoon.
While they don’t have close-up views Elkington Park in Balmain, Cremorne Park Reserve, North Head, and Rushcutters Bay Park are the only four official vantage points that are not expected to reach capacity.
Ticketed events that are still available
If you’re willing to pay for a premium spot with fireworks views, there are still a few areas with tickets available.
The family-friendly Athol Lawn at Bradleys Head on the North Shore still has tickets left. While there’s no food or drink available to purchase at this site, it does come in at an affordable $30 per adult with family rates available. For those in the Eastern Suburbs, Dudley Page Reserve also caters to families with rides and face painting available as well as food and drink. Tickets here are available from $35 per adult with family rates available.
Harbour Party NYE 2016 at Luna Park, featuring Havana Brown and Sneaky Sound System, still has Diamond VIP tickets available for $299 each.
If you’ve decided last-minute to go all out this year, you can also book a camping site on Cockatoo Island from just $470 for a four-person plot.
There are also still New Year’s Eve cruises available, starting at $450 per person including dinner, drinks and fireworks views.
Image: City of Sydney